While most European tourists can be seen wandering the cobblestone streets of cities like Frankfurt and Paris with expensive cameras in tow, Ohio-born artist Danny Hawk takes a different approach. Using traditional watercolor paints and his sketchbook, he captures the beauty of Europe’s classic architecture and beautiful landscapes en plein air.
Although he has dual degrees in German and International Relations, Hawk has always felt drawn to the arts, saying, “Growing up as a kid, art was one of my favorite subjects. I loved to sketch, especially when it came to buildings and places […] in 2017, something magical happened: creative people started to come into my life, I began following artists online, and I joined my local Urban Sketchers chapter here in Frankfurt—and bam! I was hooked.”
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Yesterday, I meant to clean my apartment. But then I did this. Oops! 😅 . But to be honest, we’ve been lucky with the weather lately, so instead of staying inside I walked to the Mainufer, or the riverfront here in Frankfurt, for an afternoon sketch. And my apartment? Well, I guess it’ll have to wait until a rainy day. 😂 . #illustration #inkandwatercolor #watercolor #urbansketch #urbansketching #watercolour #artistsofinstagram #instaart #frankfurtliebe #mainufer #frankfurt #frankfurtammain #spring #frühling #mainriver #aquarelle #sketchbookart
He has traveled all across Europe, capturing the intricate details of some of the world’s most beautiful structures and landscapes in his watercolor sketches, but says that he felt a special connection to the city of Dresden, Germany. “With its beautifully restored old town and scenic location on the river Elbe, it’s practically begging to be sketched,” says Hawk.
One of the most captivating sketches Hawk captured in Dresden (and one of his personal favorites) is of the Frauenkirche. Originally built in the mid-1700s, it was destroyed in WWII and left to crumble as a war memorial. In 2005, it was rebuilt as a symbol of resilience and reconciliation. Hawk’s rendering of its intricate dome and spire makes the building almost leap off the page.
With so much of Europe yet to be sketched, Danny Hawk plans to grow his portfolio over the months and years to come. If a picture paints a thousand words, Hawk’s paintings tell a seemingly endless story of the landscapes and buildings that catch his eye.